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March 12, 2010

Gang initiation killing

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged in what Baltimore police are describing as a gang initation killing in Northwest Baltimore.

The Sun's Justin Fenton reports today that the victim suspect was being initiated into a set of the Bloods gang, but the precise motive for the killing remains unclear. The victim's mother told Justin there is more to the story. The killing occurred on Oakford Avenue on Dec. 29 and claimed the life of 19-year-old Jeffrey Ward.

Also yesterday, state officials testified in Annapolis to broaden the definition of a gang member and add to the number of crimes eligible for enhanced sentences. Here is a statement issue by Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy on the proposed legislation:

Senate Bill 274 Would Prohibit Felons from Possessing Long Guns, Provide Flexible Sentencing and Up To 15-year Penalty in Felony Gun Possession Cases

Senate Bill 44 Would Expand Firearms to include Long Guns in Crimes of Violence

Senate Bill 563 Would Prohibit Felons from Possessing Ammunition

 Baltimore, MD March 10, 2010 – State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy will urge the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday to pass Senate Bills 44, 274 and 563 to strengthen gun laws, protect public safety and support law enforcement efforts to continue the steady decline in gun violence and historic low crime rates achieved in Baltimore. 

 In testimony before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, State’s Attorney Jessamy will note the significance of several factors that have contributed to the steady decrease of felony gun possession cases, non-fatal shootings and murder cases during the first decade of gun prosecutions under the highly publicized Gun Safety & Responsibility Act of 2000.

Lauded at that time as the best and most comprehensive gun bill in the nation and enacted during a highly publicized visit by President Bill Clinton o Annapolis in May 2000, Baltimore prosecutors have charged hundreds of convicted felons with the illegal possession of a regulated firearm since the 2000 gun law took effect in October that year.  Upon conviction, the courts can sentence offenders to just one penalty; a minimum, maximum and mandatory no-parole penalty of 5-years incarceration.

 “Exactly ten years ago, I was here in Annapolis to shape a gun bill that has helped build a cumulative, positive momentum toward the reduction of violent gun crime in Baltimore,” said State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.  “Baltimore prosecutors have secured hundreds of 5-year no parole sentences for violent felons caught with regulated firearms,” said Mrs. Jessamy.

  “I believe we are witnessing historic decreases in gun crime that can be attributed to the strategic enforcement and prosecution of gun felons under this new law, efforts at the Central Booking Intake Facility (CBIF) War Room begun in 2002 that focused on bail, the expansion of the EXILE program in 2006, and new city initiatives like GunStat and the Gun Registry Program,” says State’s Attorney Jessamy. 

“We are making progress, but more work remains,” said State’s Attorney Jessamy.

Jessamy will highlight a gun timeline that includes partnerships that have contributed to a decrease in gun violence in Baltimore:

War Room at Central Booking
Statistics indicate that in 2009, prosecutors at the Central Booking & Intake Facility (CBIF) and War Room identified 1685 violent repeat offenders arrested on new gun and felony charges. These offenders were identified based on a review of their prior criminal convictions and probation status.  Prosecutors made bail recommendations to commissioners and at district court bail reviews.  Statistics show that 1399 offenders charged with new gun and felony crimes were held without bail through the offender’s first court appearance in 2009. The War Room began operations in September 2002.

EXILE Partnership
Begun as Project Disarm in 1995, the State’s Attorney’s Office has worked with our federal partners to expand the federal Exile program to include 3 cross-designated Assistant State’s Attorneys acting as Special Assistant United State’s Attorneys. This partnership has allowed for the expansion of efforts to identify and prosecute violent repeat offenders – and includes better coordination and communication following the arrest of a violent offender and an expansion of electronic investigations involving gangs, and drug traffickers.  The FIVE Division (Firearms Investigative Violence Enforcement) serves as a clearinghouse for most gun cases prosecuted in Baltimore.

City GunStat Program and Gun Registry   - These new city initiatives have helped to identify and prosecute juvenile and adult gun offenders and monitor gun offenders in the community.  GunStat provides a useful forum to prioritize and streamline evidence and secure witnesses in upcoming gun cases to achieve the best possible outcome.  The Gun Registry has helped to closely monitor convicted gun offenders who live in Baltimore.

Collateral Division of the State’s Attorney’s Office – In a unique partnership with the State Division of Parole & Probation, prosecutors and probation agents work in the War Room, at GunStat and in regular meetings between prosecutors and law enforcement to identify offenders on parole and probation who have been arrested on a new charge. Using a network of technology alerts, these cases are carefully tracked by probation officers and prosecutors to obtain violation of probation warrants with pre-set bails for violent repeat offenders. Hundreds of hearings are scheduled annually by probation agents.

 State’s Attorney Jessamy will urge the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to pass Senate Bills 274, 44 and 563.  These bills address needed improvements to current gun laws.  Jessamy will testify in favor of a more flexible penalty for the violation of the restriction against possession of a regulated firearm by a person who was previously convicted of a specified felony and will recommend the 5-year mandatory no parole sentence be expanded to include up to 15 years incarceration. She will also urge the expansion of the definition of regulated firearms to include long guns and rifles to prohibit convicted felons to legally possess long guns and rifles.  She will testify in favor of a bill that prohibits convicted felons from possessing ammunition.  Federal laws prohibit felons from possessing ammunition.

 “These bills close loopholes, strengthen public safety and are needed to move us forward. For example, under the 2000 statute, it is still legal for a convicted felon to legally possess a rifle, and to walk down a street in Baltimore.  We need to change that,” said State’s Attorney Jessamy.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:12 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Gangs


"...[I]t is still legal for a convicted felon to legally possess a rifle, and to walk down a street in Baltimore," said State’s Attorney Jessamy.

Funny, I thought 18 USC 922(g) makes that illegal.

Anyone who has been convicted of a felony is banned by federal law from ever possessing "any firearm or ammunition." Specifically a person "convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" cannot possess any firearm in any location. 18 U.S.C. 922(g) is the federal law that prohibits anyone ever convicted of any felony to ever possess any firearm either inside or outside of his home. The federal punishment for felon gun possession is up to 10 years in prison.

Federal law provides significant penalties for felons in possession of weapons, unless the felon has his rights restored by the convicting state.

Here we have another mindless killing all because a 16yr old was to damm stupid to make a moral decision. He put the "Hood" before his future. His Mother?" Oh brother where art thou". Lame in her obvious defense of said son, she didn't think her Good boy could do such a thing. Plueezzze, where the hell were you when this kid went out & with whom? down at the bar drinking & drugging? Where the hell is the father, snicker)...Another joke. These morons want equality? F....k, they can't even spell it. they talk with a mouth full of marbles & drain our resources because it feels good to make babies but not so good raising them. I will say what millions of other citizens in this country think & that is get off your lazy assess & start doing something with your life. You got money for the $200 Nikes, a cell phone to stay connected but you can't go to school & hold a job cause that;s too hard.

I dont understand, the victim was being initiated by the Bloods?? Im guessing the SHOOTER was being initiated..can someone please clarify this.

Right, police claim the shooter was put up to it as part of an initiation ritual. I've fixed it. -Justin

Several years ago, when we still lived in Pasadena, a young white mother of three was car jacked, gang sexually molested, and strangled by five young black males 15-19. They drove her around for several hours, stopping at several money machines where she was required to withdraw the maximum at each. During her ordeal she was required to constantly suck these young pucks dicks. Once they had exhausted her bank account, they strangled her in the early hours of the morning and dumped her body. At the time, one of the fathers of a young girl on my daughter's soccer team was an Anne Arundel county police lieutenant. When I asked him if he knew anything about the horrific crime, he told me the following: These young, "men" were fulfilling part of their initiation requirements into the Bloods or Crips gang, I forget which, but I think it is about the same for both. The lieutenant further stated that these young wanna-be-gangsters, to become full members in the gang they were trying to get into, were required to rape three white women and shoot at least on white man. He said the shooting requirement was one of the main reasons that drivers are shot when they blink their lights at an oncoming car with its lights off at night to let them know their light are off. He also said that these punks told him that the gang leaders recommended that they do their raping and killing in either Glen Burnie or Brooklyn Park, as those were working class, white neighborhoods and the police would spend less time and effort trying to find black killers and rapists of whites in those areas.
Did anyone notice last week or a couple of weeks ago, a 23 year old white man in Brooklyn Park was shot and killed in his pickup truck in front of his parents house and that Police were looking for two unidentified young black males 16-25, seen running back toward Baltimore City immediately after the shooting?

officers should have solution to this problem.

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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